In 1961, Frank Zappa hired a bunch of studio musicians to record his 'Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance'. Chuck Foster played the engaging trumpet solo.
Chuck Glave: drums (credited
as Chuck Grove)
Caronga Ward: bass
Tony Rodriquenz: alto sax (credited as Tony Rodriguez)
Chuck Foster: trumpet
Danny Helferin: piano
Frank Zappa: guitar
the track appears on
Over at the "random notes" section, below, you can find the interview that Geoff Wills did with Chuck Foster.
|chuck foster: long over due
(1985, cd, usa, sea breeze)
|frank zappa: the lost episodes
(1996, cd, usa, ryko)
|frank zappa: mystery disc
(1998, cd, usa, ryko)
2008 02 21
Geoff Wills says:
recently interviewed Chuck Foster, who played trumpet on the original 1961
version of Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance. He revealed new information
regarding that session and the musicians involved, and he also told me that he
played on the soundtrack for Run Home Slow. He was also able to remember a
number of the musicians who also played on the soundtrack. I'm enclosing my
interview with him as an attachment, and you're welcome to put it on the United
Mutations website if you think it's suitable. Chuck has read my interview and
has given his approval.
He also made a solo jazz album in 1985 entitled Long Overdue, and I'll send you a picture of its cover.
AN INTERVIEW WITH CHUCK FOSTER
Geoff Wills (2008)
been intrigued by the original version of Take Your Clothes Off When You
Dance (originally titled Never On Sunday) since it appeared on The Lost
Episodes. It's an excellent piece of straight-ahead jazz, with strong
solos all round: the trumpet is clean and arresting, broadly with a
Dizzy Gillespie/Clifford Brown sound; the alto sax is excitingly
reminiscent of Cannonball Adderley and Phil Woods, and the piano style
is somewhat like that of Jack Wilson, who was making a jazz name on the
West Coast around the time that this was recorded. Frank Zappa's rhythm
playing is perfect for the music. Interestingly, the tune is a bossa
nova, and was recorded a year before Stan Getz made this form popular
with Desafinado. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance fits right in with
other jazz that was happening on the West Coast in the early 1960s:
funky, soulful music played by people like Les McCann, Harold Land,
Curtis Amy, Dupree Bolton, and The Jazz Crusaders.
find out more about the musicians involved in the recording, I managed
to obtain a copy of the solo LP made by trumpeter Chuck Foster in 1985.
Entitled Long Overdue, it features tenor saxist Pete Christlieb and
drummer Alex Acuna, and is a very enjoyable, swinging jazz album that
should have reached a wider audience. Interestingly, Chuck had put his
telephone number on the back of the LP sleeve, so I took a chance and
rang it. Amazingly, Chuck answered, still at the same number, as luck
would have it. He proved to be a very pleasant person who was happy to
talk, and he was able to provide fascinating information about the Take
Your Clothes Off session and also the recording of the Run Home Slow
soundtrack. This is his story, taken from telephone conversations and
was born on December 11, 1939. After joining his High School band at age
twelve, he heard Louis Armstrong live in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. This
stimulated his interest in improvising on the trumpet, and soon he was
listening to recordings by Chet Baker, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis and
Charlie Parker. With friends, Chuck started playing dance gigs, and this
continued until he graduated from High School. Next, he auditioned for a
US army HQ band and was accepted. After attending Armed Forces Music
School he spent one year each in the Eighth Army and Sixth Army Bands.
January 1961 Chuck got out of the service and was in Los Angeles, and he
received a call from someone associated with Frank Zappa to do a
recording session. This turned out to be for Take Your Clothes Off When
You Dance. He can only remember recording this one track at the Pal
Studio session, but he said that they rehearsed tunes for a couple of
weeks - "It was real loose, we had a lot of laughs, a very relaxed
atmosphere." Interestingly, Chuck also said, "Oh yes, Frank
always liked jazz - he was always a fan."
the other musicians on the session, Chuck was only acquainted with the
alto sax player, whose name was Tony Rodriquenz, not Rodriguez as stated
on the Lost Episodes CD. "He was a monster - sounded like
Cannonball Adderley," said Chuck, "But he gravitated away from
music and became a teacher (not music) and played at weekends."
Sadly, Tony Rodriquenz died as a result of cancer in 2007. Chuck also
believes that the name of the drummer on the session was Chuck Glave,
not Chuck Grove, again as stated on the Lost Episodes CD.
further interest is that Chuck played trumpet on the soundtrack music
for the film Run Home Slow, and he remembered a number of other
musicians who were also involved. These were Ron Myers (trombone), Chick
Carter (flute, tenor sax, baritone sax), Don Christlieb (bassoon), Pete
Christlieb (tenor sax), Chuck Domanico (bass) and John Guerin (drums).
Don Christlieb was already a first-call studio musician, and all the
others developed high-profile jazz and/or session careers: Myers with
Woody Herman, Don Ellis and Buddy Rich, Carter with Harry James, and
Domanico with Don Ellis. Pete Christlieb appeared on Steely Dan's Aja.
1963 Chuck was a member of the Si Zentner orchestra, and between 1963
and 1966 he was in a nine-piece group (three trumpets, three trombones,
three rhythm) backing singer Della Reese. In 1965 he made his first
straight-ahead jazz album: this was Opus One, with the Hank Bagby
Quintet. The album gained a 31/2 star
review in Downbeat magazine. In 1966 he took the jazz trumpet chair with
the Buddy Rich Orchestra. In 1969 he played with Harry James's
orchestra, and from 1970 to 1978 he played headline shows in Las Vegas.
Chuck had a motorcycle accident and retired from music for a time, but
he gradually returned to playing local gigs. He recently had a serious
eye operation, but is gradually improving, and appears to maintain a
very positive attitude. His solo LP, Long Overdue, is well worth seeking
out, and deserves to be issued on CD. Chuck's story also emphasizes
that, from the beginning of his career, Frank Zappa had a liking for
jazz, and associated with jazz musicians.
I'm very grateful to Chuck for co-operating so willingly in this interview, and for increasing the fund of knowledge available to music fans.
-- Geoff Wills